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Press Room


Jennifer King, Publicist
Contact: talkback
Website contact: talkback

Press Release

"Rum, Rumba and Roulette: Havana Before Castro richly illustrates Cuba’s astonishing pre-Castro history" (41kb .pdf)

Book Info

Havana Before Castro, When Cuba Was a Tropical Playground

Publisher: Gibbs Smith
by Peter Moruzzi
Category: Pop Culture/Travel
Format: Paperback, 256 pages, over 500 images
Dimensions: 11 by 9 inches
On Sale: August, 2008
Price: $30.00 U.S.
ISBN: 978-1-4236-0367-2 (1-4236-0367-2)

Book design by the incredibly capable Kurt Wahlner

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Date Title
Peter profiled by Bruce Fessier, The Desert Sun
Review, Scott Timberg, Los Angeles Times Blogs "Jacket Copy"
Review, Jared Paul Stern, & reviewed on
Interview with Gino LaMont, CBS 2, Palm Springs, "Eye on the Desert"
Review, Mark Lasswell, The Wall Street Journal
Review, Phil Peters' The Cuban Triangle blog
Chapter excerpts added to website.
"Drinking, Dining, and Dancing" (from chapter 6) (1,084 KB .pdf)
"Havana Riviera" (from chapter 12) (1,457 KB .pdf)
La Bodeguita del Medio's classic mojito recipe (HTML)
Alan Hess, author of Googie Redux and Oscar Niemeyer: Houses:
Havana Before Castro restores to us a tropical civilization of great music and architecture. It was not lost, fortunately, but only out of sight. Moruzzi's in-depth research allows us to see that an amazing amount of this city remains, despite (and at times because of) fifty years of Castro's rule. Much of the evidence Moruzzi presents is in the ephemeral media of travel brochures, cigar boxes, and swizzle sticks, but the portrait he creates of the city is vivid and solidly three dimensional. In this important book Havana is revealed to be as significant and distinctive as Miami Beach and Las Vegas in telling the story of how recreation and tourism transformed American culture, architecture, and economics.
Marvin R. Shanken, Editor & Publisher Cigar Aficionado magazine writes:
Havana is one of my favorite cities in the world. This book takes a reader through the pre-Castro era in that seaside city, explains why it was once the true playground of the Caribbean. Some day, I hope everyone gets a chance to explore Havana, both old and new. In the meantime, this book can take you there.
Review, Library Journal, Boyd Childress, Library Journal
An unparalleled reading experience...
[read full review]
Press Release, "Rum, Rumba and Roulette: Havana Before Castro richly illustrates Cuba’s astonishing pre-Castro history" (41kb .pdf)